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Epilepsy in Cats??

6 replies

rockinhippy · 02/02/2011 11:22

Curiosity really, as lost faith in our current Vet & thinking of moving to another, so I just wondered if anyone else has a Cat that suffers with this, & if so how your Vet dealt with it??

Strangely I'm now on my 2nd Epileptic Cat, but not sure our current Vet has her best interest at heart & trusted what I have learned instead from my old Vets & Cat, hence my curiousity....

background :)

I had my old Girl for over 20 years & she first started fitting at 18months old, first time was really scary & the vet initially wasn't sure what to make of it, thought possible bee sting reaction or similar, but as she'd recovered & all her vitals were fine, she was discharged.... 2nd fit they then knew what it was & they explained the different types of Epilepsy to me, & that at the age she was it was most likely Idiopathic Epilepsy, which wouldn't need treatment unless the fits became very frequents.....

they didn't, in fact even stopped all together for a few years, & during the course of her life, I had 3 different Vets & they all agreed it was observation, length of fits etc etc was the way to diagnose it best, based on the age she started making true Idiopathic the most likely cause....obviously they were right & we just learned how best to manage her condition, which wasn't that bad as fits not frequent until she was much older & then also hypothyroid

We adopted a rescue Cat over a year ago, not long after our old Girl died, she was a year 16 months old, she had a fitShock(I had previously thought this was very rareConfused, I took her to our Vet to get checked over & I was horrified that they wanted to put her out & do investigative tests & MRI brain Scans on herConfused

this seemed extreme based on the fact that they had just told me all her vital signs were good, & she was certainly back to normal, I had only taken her for a precautionary check up, also from my old Cat I know that the dangerous types of fits start in Kittens & Elderly Cats, Idiopathic starts after a year or so of age,

I refused the tests as felt it too cruel & unlikely for any good reason......over a year down the line & she is still a very healthy Cat, but does have the very occasional fit, pattern etc exactly as our old Cat didConfused, so I am confident she has no other nasties, & she had been under good Vet care at the Sanctuary she came from...& weird as it is, I suppose she came to the right home as its something we are very experienced in dealing withConfused

So I'm Epilepsy in Cats more common than I realize?? & do Vets in general not start organising expensive & distressing & potentially dangerous(anesthetic) tests for it, as was my experience BEFORE moving here & going to our current Vet???

Thanks :)

OP posts:
Lizcat · 02/02/2011 16:11

The most common cause of fitting in young cats is a toxoplasmosis infection so I would always do a blood test for this.

rockinhippy · 02/02/2011 16:40

Thanks :), but from what I know that usually shows up as fits in younger Cats/Kittens & had already been ruled out in both Cats anyway,

I'm not worried its anything other than Idiopathic epilepsy, this Cat is very healthy otherwise & seems as if her fits might also have stopped for a while at least....I just wondered if the diagnostics/treatment had changed in the last 19yr or so & to whether or not our current Vet is following what is now "normal procedure, as they just seemed very quick to want to put her out & put her under a lot of stress

OP posts:
beautifulgirls · 02/02/2011 21:32

Diagnostics definately have moved on in the last 19 years yes. MRI would have been the very rarest of cases back then but is much more readily available these days. A diagnosis of idiopathic (meaning no known cause) can really only be made when all other causes have been excluded, which would include MRI to image the brain and rule out tumours or malformations etc. If a condition is to be thoroughly investigated then compared to 19 years ago it is likely that more testing will be run. Some of these can easily be done "in house" at your own clinic such as blood testing and other testing may need to be referred unless you are at a practice that is exceptionally well equipped with specialist staff usually. A lot of times a comprimise may be made to initiate some of the easily run tests and if these are all clear then a decision needs to be made about the other investigations running or not. This will be a factor of money and owner opinion when all facts are presented and pros and cons considered for each individual case. It would be wrong however to assume that owners are not wanting to go for these tests or can not afford them without at least giving them the information to make their own decision.

Epilepsy in cats is really quite rare and you have been very unusual in having two cats with it - but very fortunate for your cats to be with you as you clearly cope well with caring for them Smile

rockinhippy · 03/02/2011 10:04

Thank you beautiful I had kind of figured it would of changed a bit, but I was a bit put out as the Vet was very pushy over it & I had to really fight to say no, & was made to feel in the wrong for doing so,

thankfully due to moves etc I had seen 3 different Vets over the years with my old Cat & they always put the Cats well being first as regards tests etc & worked on watching & keeping diaries of pattern of fits etc, BEFORE thinking of sending her off for further investigations that might harm her, so though worried I was confident enough in knowing what I was dealing with.......& like I say, she has been fine & its been a year or so now

weird though, as I always thought/was told by Vet it was very rare too, so a bit of a shock to have another Cat with the same problemConfused, I even found myself questioning if it was something we were doing, but its a different house etc, so no 9thankfully)

My main reason for asking, is I'm just not sure I'm happy with our current Vets any more, a few things have happened over this last year or so along with a high staff turn over & sometimes uncaring attitude, & most recently they are insisting our New Kitten starts his jabs again, rather than just have his needed 2nd dose (1st done at Sanctuary he came from) ...PITA to move to another as others just aren't as close, but I need to decide if they are doing the right things with Cats well being at heart

Thanks for your in put, it was helpful :)

& YES very odd to have another Epileptic, but after 20 yrs of dealing with it, I suppose she certainly came to the right home, even DD doesn't panic & knows what to do to help :)

OP posts:
beautifulgirls · 05/02/2011 12:17

I would suggest you ask about to friends with pets and see if there is another local vet that they recommend and maybe look to change clinics. It sounds like your current surgery does not provide the bedside manner that lots of practices are able to provide and there is a good chance you can find someone else a little more traditional in their approach to communication. It should be easy to swap over, just take the details of your old vet along to the new one and they can request a history for your pets to be sent so they have complete records.

Vaccines - will depend when the first of a course was given. If too far apart then they may need to be restarted to provide adequate immunity. We have to work under the licence of the vaccine for this.

Catsmamma · 05/02/2011 12:22

Some vets do like to throw everything they have at a "sick" creature, which is really understandable given their training.

and that's not a critisism really.

We have a good vet practice but will pick and choose which vet to see, as we know their manner and how they deal with us and the critters.

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